Mapping Architectural Controversies forms part of the FP7 European research grant series MACOSPOL and tested the hypothesis of applying Bruno Latour’s actor-network theory (ANT) to the planning of the 2012 London Olympic stadium. SUPERSPACE (then Aedas R&D) was commissioned by Dr Albena Yaneva of the Manchester Architectural Research Centre (MARC) to create a data visualization based on online articles from 2001-2012 that reported on the planning of the Olympic stadium.
We developed a dynamic interactive visualization that automatically analyses all the articles in chronological order and visualizes the relationships between actors and topics of the planning process. A series of algorithms were customized to create a visually clear structure that could self-organize into categories of planning themes and ongoing discussions. Users and stakeholders of the planning process could interactively explore relations between actors and topics they discussed at what point in time, and thus reveal the network of influencers behind the stadium design. The application was linked to the database of articles and users could read up on selected instances when actors had been reported to have a relationship.